According to a new study, children younger than two are more likely to have a number of ongoing illnesses as a result of using antibiotics. 


According to the recently published study in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, babies and toddlers who have received one dose of antibiotics were more likely have asthma, eczema, hay fever, food allergies, celiac disease, problems with weight and obesity and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder later in childhood. The study also found that multiple antibiotic treatments for children younger than two-years-old was associated with a child having multiple conditions.

“We want to emphasize that this study shows association, not causation, of these conditions,” senior study author Nathan LeBrasseur, a researcher at Mayo Clinic’s Center on Aging said in an interview with CNN. “These findings offer the opportunity to target future research to determine more reliable and safer approaches to timing, dosing and types of antibiotics for children in this age group.”

The study also found that the illnesses differ as a result of a variety of factors such as the child’s age, gender, medication type, dosage, and number of doses. 

“Among children who received one or two prescriptions, only girls were at significantly higher risk to develop asthma and celiac disease compared to those unexposed,” LeBrasseur and his team wrote in the study. “By contrast, receiving three to four prescriptions was associated with a higher incidence of asthma, atopic dermatitis, and overweight in both sexes, ADHD and celiac disease in girls, and obesity in boys.”

The study was conducted by analyzing data from over 14,500 children who were a part of the Rochester Epidemiology Project. The Rochester Epidemiology Prowhich is a long-term study that analyzes the medical records of Minnesota and Wisconsin volunteers. Seventy percent of the participants in the study had received at least one antibiotic with many receiving multiple antibiotics.

The study found penicillin, a commonly prescribed antibiotic, was associated with “increased risk for asthma and overweight in both sexes, celiac disease and ADHD in girls, and obesity in boys, whereas they were associated with reduced risk for autism in girls.” Another commonly prescribed antibiotic, cephalosporin, was linked to higher risk for the greatest number of conditions and, “uniquely, autism and food allergies.”

To read more about this fascinating study and the Rochester Epidemiology Project, click here

Tiffany Silva

Tiffany Silva

Writer and Editor

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